Profits, projects and people – Are Main Contractors dropping the ball?

People productivity

You have to admit, the goings on in the construction industry have been a bit of a circus in recent years. It seems the industry is always on the back foot, having to come up with excuses as to why performance and output is down yet at the same time crying about the skills shortage that exists. As main contractors try juggle projects and profitability, are they dropping the ball when it comes to looking after their best people?

Hiring for the project pipeline

The developmental stage of big projects is typically when most hiring occurs. But as projects progress from one stage to another, there can be big gaps or waiting periods as various factors hold up development and construction. How can main contractors ensure that their key people remain engaged and productive while they wait out delays? And more importantly, that they don’t lose them to other contractors offering more exciting prospects?

Create a culture of agility

Not only will this make your organization more competitive in the marketplace and able to respond to change, it will also encourage team members to upskill themselves so that they can work in different areas of the business. People will be less inclined to just sit back and only do the job they know when it goes against what is happening all around them, especially when they see other people learning and progressing in their careers.  Creating a culture of collaboration where expertise can be pulled in from various departments creates more cohesive teams. It also develops more engaged employees. So even if there is a lull between major projects, employees can still be productive.

Can technology fill the gap?

If you can’t move forward because the road is blocked, don’t moan about the traffic, find another route! Challenges viewed another way are opportunities for innovation. With the speed at which technology is evolving, the gap could be bridged by finding more efficient ways to do things using technology. Giving employees the freedom to explore ways to innovate when they are not flat out on a project could well produce ideas for creating greater efficiencies when the projects do go ahead. It’s been proven that taking the time to plan properly can save a great deal of time and money in the long run.  This could very well be the very best use of project downtime while at the same time ensuring that your organisation keeps your top talent.